Valorization of Eggshell Biowaste for Sustainable Environmental Remediation.


Department of Earth Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome, P.le A. Moro 5, I-00185, Rome, Italy. [Email]


The management of large amounts of eggshell waste annually produced in the world is problematic as generally this material is only disposed at landfills with odor production and microbial growth. On the contrary, significant environmental and economic advantages could be obtained transforming this biowaste into new value-added products. Eggshell biowaste was the starting material for the synthesis of hydroxyapatite by a simple and sustainable procedure and applied for the removal of Co2+ from aqueous solutions. The effects of contact time and initial metal concentration were investigated in batch experiments. Eggshell-based hydroxyapatite (ESHAP) before and after Co2+ removal was characterized by X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy. The process was rapid and reached equilibrium within 80 min. The removal efficiency was in the range 70-80% which is generally higher than other waste-derived adsorbents. Adsorption of Co2+ on the surface of ESHAP particles and ion exchange with Ca2+ resulting in the formation of a Co-phosphate are the main mechanisms of the metal removal. The conversion of eggshell waste to a low-cost adsorbent for the treatment of metal contaminated waters could contribute to a more sustainable and effective management of this biowaste.

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